Twitter has launched a privacy-protected site on the dark web, in order to bypass Russia’s restrictions on the microblogging platform.

The Tor-friendly site follows moves by Facebook and BBC who also had their platforms restricted by Russian authorities, the Guardian newspaper reported.

At the moment, access to Twitter is limited in Russia, and Facebook is blocked completely in Russia, in a respond to it blocking Putin’s state-backed media outlets.

Dark web

Vladimir Putin’s regime is tightly controlling and restricting the flow of information and news to Russia’s population.

Indeed, any journalist who refers to Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine as an invasion, faces a 15 years prison sentence.

Faced with these heavy restrictions, Twitter users can still access the platform if they download the Tor browser, which allows people to access sites on what is also referred to as the “dark web”.

Instead of .com, dark web ‘onion sites’ have a .onion suffix, and these sites are not accessible via conventional web browsers.

The Dark Web of course carries its fair share of illegal sites, such as the infamous Silk Road drug market, which was closed down in 2013.

Restriction bypass

But the Dark Web also features some legitimate sites, which are used by people living under restrictive regimes with tough censorship rules, who need to remain anonymous for their own safety.

The Guardian reported that Facebook and the BBC for example have versions of their websites accessible on Tor.

Software engineer and internet security expert Alec Muffett, who has worked with other companies to set up onion sites, announced Twitter’s new service on his own Twitter account on Tuesday.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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